Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has divorced his British TV presenter wife Reham Khan after months of speculation that the 10-month marriage was on the rocks.
The news was confirmed by a spokesperson for Khan’s political party Tehreek-i-Insaf on Friday.
The spokesperson described the split as “amicable” and by “mutual consent”.
63-year-old Khan, one of the greatest fast bowlers to play the game and arguably his country’s greatest cricket captain, took to his Twitter to ask for privacy in what he described as a “painful time”.
“I have the greatest respect for Reham’s moral character and her passion to work and help the underprivileged”, he added.
Khan also said that reports of a “financial settlement” between the couple were “false and shameful”.
Rumours had begun circulating six months after the couple had tied the knot at Khan’s farmhouse north of Pakistan.
Some reports suggested that 41-year-old Reham, who has three children from a previous marriage, was unhappy “just sitting at home” and had expressed her interest to enter politics.
Imran dismissed the rumours as “slanderous”.
Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper quoted a source close to Imran said the couple were “just not getting along”.
“She wanted to get involved with politics and that is not what Khan wanted at all. She just did not want to sit at home,” the source said.
“There were teething problems as well over other issues which were being resolved but this was a major issue — she wanted to get into politics and was not ready to back down.”
Another confidante of Imran Khan told the newspaper that there had been “a lot of pressure” on Imran to divorce Reham – particularly from his sister Aleema Khan who had made no secret of her dislike of Reham.
According to reports, Reham has fled Pakistan to London where she is expected to address a media conference.
Reham, born to Pakistani parents in Libya, was previously married to psychologist Ijaz Rehman and had made her name as a weather presenter for BBC northwest.
Rumours of the end of the marriage first circulated in August when Reham was campaigning to support a candidate from her husband’s party in a by-election.
The candidate lost the vote and later Imran announced that his wife would not have a political career with his party.
Khan’s previous marriage to British socialite Jemima Khan, the daughter of the financier James Goldsmith, ended in 2004. Khan’s political rivals used the marriage to attack Khan by emphasising her Jewish roots.